Photo albums, selfies, family gatherings draw us to reminisce about the past. God offers us the same through His Word. May this time of year spur us on to focus on the wonders of the past—and of the present—with Him.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
As I prepare to teach yet another workshop, “Writing Your Memories,” I’m reminded how important it is to remember our past and how easily we forget. Preserving our memories on paper can be uplifting, educational, and cathartic. The process can cause us to be surprised and emotionally freed from certain past events.
I remember a trip to Alaska with my family that brought release from the loss of my husband, Don, with whom I’d made several trips there. Every turn we took on the Alcan Highway became a sweet memory. The steep ridges of snow and glacial ice atop endless, surrounding mountains, and the spectacular view of Denali we enjoyed from miles away stole my breath once again.
We watched grizzlies tumbling and playing on a patch of snow next to a gravel riverbed. We laughed at a flock of Dall’s sheep on a mountainside, the babies jumping and skipping among their grazing parents. We felt the Yukon highway’s jarring bumps of frost heaves for mile after mile. The cool, black rock where I sat watching my grandchildren dig for butter clams at low tide brought memories of Don and me on that same beach.
Other memories stirred. The taste of tender bear potpie, flaky halibut, and succulent, grilled salmon. The rich scent of Sitka spruce and the mewling cry of a baby moose fleeing after its mom across the busy highway.
Later, my mind would fill again with things of Northern Wisconsin—the stopped-up bathtub faucet, the knee-high grass of my large lawn, an upcoming garage sale. I would move the remembrances of our Alaska trip to the back lobe of my brain for enjoyment during leisure times.
Yesterdays have their wonderful memories. God gave us much to remember, also. His Word is replete with stories of how He saved His people from destruction through His love and grace. They’re meant to remind us of His faithfulness and goodness. They were written to woo us into acceptance and obedience and to guide us in our daily lives. Even bad memories hold a purpose—to teach us to avoid repeating our wrong actions and to focus on higher aims. Such is what God meant to show His people, through His wisdom.
“My son, keep my words, and treasure my commands within you. Keep my commands and live, and my law as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.” (Proverbs 7:1-3)
Lord, thank You for Your infinite wisdom that helps guide us on Your path of love, peace, and joy. Remind us daily to depend on Your Word, Jesus, and Your Spirit, so we can make good memories for our family and those around us. In Jesus’ name, amen.